THURSDAY, AUGUST 11: A man who smashed into a gas station and stole $600 the same day he was released from prison was today jailed for three years.

Clinton Kevin Smith, 35, pleaded guilty to breaking into the BIU service station on July 28 and stealing the money hours after he had been released from West Gate.

He also pleaded guilty to breaking into the Rubis Service Station the next morning and stealing a soda valued at $1.50.

Smith was further charged with attempting to break into the BIU Service Station on August 2.

The court heard at 8:05pm on July 28, a man was recorded on the CCTV at the BIU station breaking into the convenience store.

He broke through the glass on the front door and kicked open a window inside.

Smith then entered an office and was seen running from the store and the premises.

The alarms were activated, which notified the complainant who made a report to police.

She discovered $595 had been stolen.

The next morning, Smith was seen on CCTV footage at the Rubis station smashing a rear glass door and entering the store.

He was seen looking for cash in the cash register and left the way he entered.

The damages were $2000.

On August 2, the defendant returned to the BIU station and tried to break in.

But he was “surprised” by a security guard and ran off.

Smith was arrested and charged with all three offenses.

Duty counsel Kimberley Caines told the court Smith is trying to “better” himself and has a part-time job.

She suggested a suspended sentence would be the right sentence.

But Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “How is he trying to better himself is he’s going around smashing up places?”

The court heard Smith was jailed November 2008 for a series of burglaries.

Mr Warner gave him three years in prison for stealing the money, one year for the attempted burglary and two years for stealing the soda.

The sentences are to run concurrent and will be followed by two years probation.